LAS VEGAS, NV — The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) kicked off the first full day of its 76thAnnual Convention and Trade Show today at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser kicked off the General Session by welcoming a record audience of nearly 4,000 Convention attendees, saying, “Your presence here shows the great energy that is fueling the beer distribution industry right now.”
NBWA’s outgoing Chairman of the Board Bob Archer applauded the NBWA membership for their dedicated participation in the association and their growing involvement in the political process. He thanked beer distributor members for their efforts to build relationships and encouraged them to schedule warehouse tours to highlight the commercial and economic value they deliver in their communities.
Archer noted the first ever distributor-focused economic impact study released by NBWA stating, “This report provides an in-depth, state-by-state view of beer distributors’ economic impact ranging from the jobs we provide to the charitable causes we support in our local communities. Distributors employ 130,000 people. Beer distributors add over $54 billion dollars to the nation’s gross domestic product each year. And beer distributors annually contribute roughly $175 million to our communities.” A video highlighting the economic report also debuted as part of the newly-created NBWA-TV newscasts airing during the Convention.
To highlight the great work that beer distribution companies and their 130,000 employees do in communities across the country, NBWA launched the Share Your Story Contest. NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser recognized the winners of this year’s contest, Kristin Jones and Cristie Tiwari of J. J. Taylor in Jupiter, Florida, who won a trip to attend this year’s Convention for their video submission.
“We received impressive submissions — both essays and video — from employees in all sorts of jobs, working for distributors large and small, urban and rural, from coast to coast,” Purser said. “And one common theme appeared in all of these entries — how great it is to work in the beer distribution industry.”
Purser added, “The American beer distribution industry is strong because of the amazing people who work in it and the passion they have for the work they do in communities across the country. This video exemplifies why we are all proud to be a part of this great industry.”
Convention attendees also heard from Jim Johnson, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who spoke about how changing demographics related to age, gender, race, geography and marriage — including a shift in population concentration to the South and the “graying” and “browning” of America — may impact the future of the beer industry.
“We need to recognize the economic value of multi-ethnic and multi-generational markets,” Johnson said. “Our markets are changing and we have to be sensitive to the diversity that exists.”
Johnson also stressed the importance of education to prepare strong employees for the future, when there will be four generations in the workplace. He noted the value of NBWA’s Next Generation group and added, “Multi-generational diversity can be a game changer and it can be a competitive advantage for you.”
The General Session program concluded with a presentation by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Former Congressman Joe Scarborough pulled from his experience as an influential player in Republican politics, balanced by his Democratic co-host and veteran journalist Mika Brzezinski, to offer insightful perspective on the current political landscape and the headlines of the day.
Following the General Session program, the Trade Show opened featuring products and services from nearly 300 exhibitors, including more than 500 labels of imported and domestic beer, non-alcoholic beverages, warehousing technology, financial services software and promotional products.
NBWA’s 76th Annual Convention and Trade Show continues Tuesday, October 1, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. To view NBWA-TV reports from the Convention, please visit NBWA’s YouTube channel atwww.youtube.com/NBWABeer. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #NBWAVegas, and download the Convention mobile app.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visitwww.AmericasBeerDistributors.